# Perfect problem solving with Bojagi

As a mathematics teacher, I like to start the term with some basic number skills with my KS3 groups. This choice is grounded in solid reasoning: check the pupils have got a grasp of the basics before moving on to another topic. Prime factor trees make great display work, and Pascal’s Triangle can have the ‘wow’ factor. But how else can that start-of-the-new-year enthusiasm be maintained?

One method, required by the new National Curriculum, is to incorporate problem solving into your lessons.

Recently I stumbled upon the number puzzle Bojagi. It’s a great interactive game with lots of different challenges, of which students can then make and share their own. I found the puzzle really absorbing and great to use when teaching multiplication tables, area, and factors and multiples.

Try the number game Bojagi today.

One problem I always have is where to keep good links for future use.

The National STEM Centre website can help. In addition to browsing over 2,500 brilliant maths resources and web-links, resources can be bookmarked in a series of lists. The lists can be made public for others to look at and share with colleagues. I have compiled this problem solving list, a collection of some of my favourite problem solving activities featuring resources from Bowland Maths, GAIM and NRICH.

The ‘purpose of study’ section in the new mathematics curriculum states “Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history's most intriguing problems”.

The challenge teachers now face is finding an approach that embeds problem solving into their lessons in a manner that is not contrived.

To find out how this can be achieved join us on our ‘Using resources to develop problem solving skills in secondary mathematics’ course. The day involves an:

• exploration of what is meant by ‘problem solving’
• exploration of the wealth of resources freely available on the National STEM Centre eLibrary which can be used to develop problem solving skills
• the creation of resource packages which 'add value' and pedagogical support to problem solving resources within your scheme of work
• exploration of how to assess problem solving

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